Understanding EPM | TSLN.com

Understanding EPM

For the Aug. 22, 2009 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

“Disease is very old, and nothing about it has changed. It is we who change, as we learn to recognize what was formerly imperceptible.” – Jean-Martin Charcot (founder of modern neurology, 1825-12893)

Unchanging truths… still so important as we try to monitor and guard the health of our horses. The wonderful Center for Equine Health at the University of California at Davis focuses on equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in the latest issue of its Horse Report. CEH director Dr. Gregory L. Ferraro says, “Protozoal diseases comprise one of the most difficult areas of study for medical researchers because their modes of transmission, life cycles for reproduction and modes of infection are not always known. Many of these diseases are impossible to reproduce experimentally, making controlled laboratory research extremely challenging. It is no wonder, then, that several protozoal diseases have been studied for generations, with very little progress toward effective prevention and cure being realized.”

EPM is a disease falling into that category, sharing the distinction with malaria in humans, which was described in ancient Chinese medical writings from 2700 BC and widely recognized in Greece by the 4th century BC; with Hippocrates noting the principal symptoms. Malaria has exerted wide influence on human population and history.

Fortunately the CEH reports that the story of EPM “is truly a success story for modern veterinary research.” Over the last quarter century they say “veterinary and affiliated scientists have determined the cause of the illness, worked out a complicated life cycle, described the epidemiology of the disease, developed specific tests to diagnose infection, and developed pharmaceutical agents to treat the infection.”

The author of our lead line this week, Jean-Martin Charcot, encourages, “Let us keep looking in spite of everything. Let us keep searching. It is indeed the best method of finding, and perhaps thanks to our efforts, the verdict we will give such a patient tomorrow will not be the same we must give… today.” To “keep looking” into the problems of EPM, go to http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh and http://www.aaep.org/equine_research_co_group.htm.

My cowboy and I were bles’t to attend the Grand Opening of the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center at Fort Pierre, SD last weekend (see story elsewhere in this publication) – what a fantastic facility and what a great celebration! You know how “old home week” is when cowboys get together… a time you wish for multiple sets of mule ears – or to be changed into several ‘mice in the corners’ – so you can get in on a dozen conversations at once… because when you can only be in one place at a time, you just have to miss way too many great stories.

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How wonderful to see World Champions of the 1940’s, ’50’s and ’60’s reminiscing together… to watch a rodeo icon such as Jack Buschbom laughing and joining his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids for 4-generation family photos… to actually be able to see and touch the homemade wooden horse trailer National Cowgirl Hall of Fame trick rider Mattie Goff Newcombe pulled in the early 1900’s.

I take my hat off to the Casey Tibbs Foundation and all the board members, volunteers and sponsors who have helped turn the Rodeo Center into one of the nicest institutions of its kind today… and who will continue to develop it into one of the finest historical repositories in the land. Frankly, I was amazed, knowing what a short time has passed since they began actually developing the interior of the facility. For its size, it is absolutely amazing, and rich, rich, rich in rodeo heritage. If your travels ever lead you toward Fort Pierre, be sure to save a half day or a day to explore there.

It was a pleasure to see cowgirl photographer Jean Laughton from Interior, SD at the Center. She produces some amazing art through the lens of a camera, and her work will be featured at the Dahl Fine Arts Center in Rapid City, SD next January and February. If you enjoy fantastic western views, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to her newly-updated website at http://www.jeanlaughton.com.

As long as we’re talking photography, Casey Tibbs, cowboys and such, I want to tell you about a great 18-month calendar just released by my talented Montana friend Betty Schubert. The calendar, Benny, Ronny & Legends of Yesterday, covers 18 months, starting with July of 2009 and features pretty much unknown, unpublished views of people like Benny Reynolds and Ronnie Rossen, along with many of their ‘partners in crime’. You’ll see Clyde Vamvoras, Hank Abbey, Dennis Reiners, Harry Tompkins, John Mc Beth, the Greenough family, the Linderman brothers, Sonny McClure, Dick Schneider, Bill Daggett… well, you get the ‘picture’… and the pun I hope. Betty captured these shots on rodeo road throughout the 1980’s and will ship you as many calendars as you need for personal use and gifts for all your friends, within 2-3 weeks of receiving your orders. Cost is $40 each plus shipping – just write to Betty Schubert; 437 North Surrey; Missoula, MT 59808.

We mentioned the recent benefit event in Dillon, MT for Benny Reynold’s little grandson who’s been afflicted with seizures, and while visiting with Betty about the calendars I learned the fundraiser was quite successful. Her artistic study of Benny’s worn out old rodeo boot, blown up to poster size brought $400 in the auction there; and that’s the scene that opens the calendar.

Oh yes, one more benefit we need to let you know about… Billy Stockton, good friend, Montana ranch and rodeo cowboy and outfitter from Wise River, was injured in a rodeo accident in June and is now slowly recovering at the Billings hospital. His friends have a benefit planned for Sept. 26, that’s a Saturday, at the Wise River Community Center. They promise music, food, live auction, silent auction, a great dinner and benefit raffle to assist with Billy’s sizable medical expenses. Auction items are sought – contact is Linda Cue at (406) 491-1088.

And here we are at the end of our ol’ lariat rope once more…

“Disease is very old, and nothing about it has changed. It is we who change, as we learn to recognize what was formerly imperceptible.” – Jean-Martin Charcot (founder of modern neurology, 1825-12893)

Unchanging truths… still so important as we try to monitor and guard the health of our horses. The wonderful Center for Equine Health at the University of California at Davis focuses on equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) in the latest issue of its Horse Report. CEH director Dr. Gregory L. Ferraro says, “Protozoal diseases comprise one of the most difficult areas of study for medical researchers because their modes of transmission, life cycles for reproduction and modes of infection are not always known. Many of these diseases are impossible to reproduce experimentally, making controlled laboratory research extremely challenging. It is no wonder, then, that several protozoal diseases have been studied for generations, with very little progress toward effective prevention and cure being realized.”

EPM is a disease falling into that category, sharing the distinction with malaria in humans, which was described in ancient Chinese medical writings from 2700 BC and widely recognized in Greece by the 4th century BC; with Hippocrates noting the principal symptoms. Malaria has exerted wide influence on human population and history.

Fortunately the CEH reports that the story of EPM “is truly a success story for modern veterinary research.” Over the last quarter century they say “veterinary and affiliated scientists have determined the cause of the illness, worked out a complicated life cycle, described the epidemiology of the disease, developed specific tests to diagnose infection, and developed pharmaceutical agents to treat the infection.”

The author of our lead line this week, Jean-Martin Charcot, encourages, “Let us keep looking in spite of everything. Let us keep searching. It is indeed the best method of finding, and perhaps thanks to our efforts, the verdict we will give such a patient tomorrow will not be the same we must give… today.” To “keep looking” into the problems of EPM, go to http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh and http://www.aaep.org/equine_research_co_group.htm.

My cowboy and I were bles’t to attend the Grand Opening of the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center at Fort Pierre, SD last weekend (see story elsewhere in this publication) – what a fantastic facility and what a great celebration! You know how “old home week” is when cowboys get together… a time you wish for multiple sets of mule ears – or to be changed into several ‘mice in the corners’ – so you can get in on a dozen conversations at once… because when you can only be in one place at a time, you just have to miss way too many great stories.

How wonderful to see World Champions of the 1940’s, ’50’s and ’60’s reminiscing together… to watch a rodeo icon such as Jack Buschbom laughing and joining his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids for 4-generation family photos… to actually be able to see and touch the homemade wooden horse trailer National Cowgirl Hall of Fame trick rider Mattie Goff Newcombe pulled in the early 1900’s.

I take my hat off to the Casey Tibbs Foundation and all the board members, volunteers and sponsors who have helped turn the Rodeo Center into one of the nicest institutions of its kind today… and who will continue to develop it into one of the finest historical repositories in the land. Frankly, I was amazed, knowing what a short time has passed since they began actually developing the interior of the facility. For its size, it is absolutely amazing, and rich, rich, rich in rodeo heritage. If your travels ever lead you toward Fort Pierre, be sure to save a half day or a day to explore there.

It was a pleasure to see cowgirl photographer Jean Laughton from Interior, SD at the Center. She produces some amazing art through the lens of a camera, and her work will be featured at the Dahl Fine Arts Center in Rapid City, SD next January and February. If you enjoy fantastic western views, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to her newly-updated website at http://www.jeanlaughton.com.

As long as we’re talking photography, Casey Tibbs, cowboys and such, I want to tell you about a great 18-month calendar just released by my talented Montana friend Betty Schubert. The calendar, Benny, Ronny & Legends of Yesterday, covers 18 months, starting with July of 2009 and features pretty much unknown, unpublished views of people like Benny Reynolds and Ronnie Rossen, along with many of their ‘partners in crime’. You’ll see Clyde Vamvoras, Hank Abbey, Dennis Reiners, Harry Tompkins, John Mc Beth, the Greenough family, the Linderman brothers, Sonny McClure, Dick Schneider, Bill Daggett… well, you get the ‘picture’… and the pun I hope. Betty captured these shots on rodeo road throughout the 1980’s and will ship you as many calendars as you need for personal use and gifts for all your friends, within 2-3 weeks of receiving your orders. Cost is $40 each plus shipping – just write to Betty Schubert; 437 North Surrey; Missoula, MT 59808.

We mentioned the recent benefit event in Dillon, MT for Benny Reynold’s little grandson who’s been afflicted with seizures, and while visiting with Betty about the calendars I learned the fundraiser was quite successful. Her artistic study of Benny’s worn out old rodeo boot, blown up to poster size brought $400 in the auction there; and that’s the scene that opens the calendar.

Oh yes, one more benefit we need to let you know about… Billy Stockton, good friend, Montana ranch and rodeo cowboy and outfitter from Wise River, was injured in a rodeo accident in June and is now slowly recovering at the Billings hospital. His friends have a benefit planned for Sept. 26, that’s a Saturday, at the Wise River Community Center. They promise music, food, live auction, silent auction, a great dinner and benefit raffle to assist with Billy’s sizable medical expenses. Auction items are sought – contact is Linda Cue at (406) 491-1088.

And here we are at the end of our ol’ lariat rope once more…